USERS of Bournemouth Airport will soon be enjoying a more modern travel experience as work to finish its multi-million pound transformation nears completion.

As the final countdown to the opening begins, revised plans to rebuild a low-carbon arrivals hall have also been submitted to Christchurch Borough Council.

Permission was granted for the £45 million project in 2007, but work has progressed in phases, with the new impressive glass and steel departures building due to open by early summer.

Progress was halted in 2007 when the New Forest National Park Authority mounted a judicial review in the High Court into the council’s decision to approve the project.

The judge rejected the call in April 2008, meaning work could continue on building the new terminal, extra car parks and highway improvements.

Retail and catering companies have begun to move into the new departures building and attention has now turned to the arrivals hall.

Although it was doubtful the work would go ahead due to the recession and a reduction in passenger numbers, it was decided, in view of the environmental performance of the building, to proceed with the set of revised plans.

The new proposal for the reduced size building with an extended passenger walkway will be built while keeping the current facility open.

Domestic and international arrivals will use the same building, which will be positioned to make the most of solar energy and natural ventilation, reducing energy requirements.

Also included in the overhaul of the airport has been the replacement of the navigation systems, the resurfacing of the runway and the expansion of the apron, which is now able to accommodate 11 aircraft.